During certain worship sessions, a reliable and simple instrument is all you’d need to lead the church.
After all, it’s at these sessions where you want to help everyone to slow down and focus on the key purpose of spending time with God.
We’ve narrowed down from 102+ cajons. Then researched, tested and cross checked over 13+ cajons to uncover the Best Cajon for Worship.
On top of that, we’ve also included 4 other cajons that almost made the cut.
Let’s cut to the chase and present you with the results:
Best Cajon for Worship
|Cajon for Worship
|Meinl Percussion Jumbo Bass Walnut Subwoofer Cajon (SUBCAJ5WN)
|13 1/2" (W),
19 3/4" (H),
13 3/4" (D)
Resonating Body: Medium Density Fiberboard
|*Best Cajon for Worship*
|Ebony Bass Cajon (JBC6EY)
|13 1/4" (W),
19 3/4" (H),
13 1/2" (D)
Resonating Body: Baltic Birch
|Best Sounding Cajon for Worship
|Roland Electronic Layered Cajon (EL Cajon)
|11 5/8" (W),
19 1/2" (H),
11 3/4" (D)
|Frontplate: Sapele Plywood
Resonating Body: Medium Density Fiberboard
|Electronic Cajon for Worship
|Headliner Series Siam Oak String Cajon (HCAJ1NT)
|11 3/4" (W),
12 1/2" (D)
|Frontplate: Siam Oak
Resonating Body: Siam Oak
|4th Best Cajon for Worship
|Baltic Birch Wood Compact Snare Cajon (JC50LBNT)
|10 1/2" (W),
10 1/4" (D)
|Frontplate: Baltic Birch
Resonating Body: Almond Birch
|Most Affordable Cajon for Worship
These cajons made it into our top 5 list. We share our thoughts and feedback in greater detail below.
First up, let’s start with our favorite!
Drumming Basic’s Pick:
Meinl Percussion Jumbo Bass Walnut Subwoofer Cajon with Internal Snares (SUBCAJ5WN)
This cajon aced out on everything we think is essential for churches – great tones, durability, comfortable to play and easy to mic up.
What are the key features of the Meinl Percussion Jumbo Bass Walnut Cajon?
You’re looking at a cajon that is 13 1/2″ wide, 19 3/4″ tall and 13 3/4″ deep.
Meinl even declares that it is the “biggest and bassiest” cajon they’ve ever manufactured.
It has sound ports that attenuates bass sounds.
The designer behind this cajon has put a lot of thought into the design of this cajon. Instead of having regular back facing ports, he has inverted the location of the ports to give the audience a wholesome range of bass tones.
This allows the cajon player to stand out and lead the crowd during a mass worship session.
Like most cajons, you can adjust the top corners to control how much crack/snap you’d like to produce with the cajon.
It comes with a 2 year warranty from Meinl.
Why did we pick the Meinl Percussion Jumbo Bass Walnut Cajon?
There’s really nothing else we’d want in a cajon suitable for worship.
Meinl designed this walnut cajon with a wider and deeper body which gives it a really powerful bass sound.
It’s bigger size also means that it is relatively more comfortable to play with, especially for larger players. Plus, it can take a heavier load too.
In addition, this cajon is a breeze to mic up. This really is the key feature in a cajon for worship because you’ll need to project the cajon sounds during a worship session.
Most churches place their mics in front of the frontplate which might get in the way of the cajon player if done haphazardly.
With the Meinl Jumbo cajon, you can now place the mics at the front facing sound ports located at the bottom of the cajon.
This not only helps to keep the mics out of the way, it also captures the cajon tones more accurately.
To top it off, this design really helps to project the cajon’s sound too. This makes the Jumbo cajon a good choice even for smaller cell group worship sessions. It just gives you more options for an acoustic session.
This is how it sounds:
Video Source: Meinl
Now, don’t be thrown off by it’s reputation for strong bass tones.
The Meinl Jumbo bass cajon’s wider front plate that allows drummers to create distinct tones.
On top of that, the Jumbo Bass cajon is highly sensitive which makes it easier to trigger a range of tones with varying volume.
The only downside we forsee is that you might need to take some time to get used to executing the cajon foot slide technique, especially if you tend to use the base of the cajon.
The #1 reason the Meinl Percussion Jumbo Bass Walnut Cajon was crowned the Best Cajon for Worship
The reason this cajon won our hearts is because it remains very versatile despite its strong bass.
And this feature is very rare in cajons, especially at this price range.
You could mic it up and use it to lead larger worship session.
Or, using it in a small setting like a cell group worship session and use it to add a little leading rhythm to the a capella worship songs.
Overall, it is a joy to play and drum with.
Cajons for Worship
We’ve mentioned that we’ve tested 102++ cajons for this article, 5 of them made it onto the finalist list.
You can view them via the table above!
Although the Jumbo bass walnut cajon won, there are four other cajons that caught our eyes.
We share our thoughts on them and why they almost made the cut below.
Best Sounding Cajon for Worship (1st runner up)
Meinl Percussion Ebony Bass Cajon (JBC6EY)
The Meinl Ebony Bass Cajon is not longer in production
What are the key features of the Meinl Percussion Ebony Bass Cajon?
Featuring an Ebony front plate and a Baltic Birch resonating body, this cajon produces the best sounds and tones of all the cajons that made the final list.
To top that off, it also has great response and clear attack that allows you to create snappy beats that stands out.
This cajon also comes with a special feature that most cajon lack – a snare pedal.
This foot activated snare pedal allows the player to trigger and disengage the snare wires on the Ebony bass cajon while playing, giving you the flexibility to change your musical style between songs with ease.
Imagine being able to go from a flat, bass beat to a lively beat with the snare effect with the touch of your feet.
You can also expect a strong bass with this cajon as it was designed to be slightly wider than most cajon. It is 13 1/4″ wide, 19 3/4″ tall and 13 1/2″ deep.
It is just slightly smaller than the Meinl Jumbo Bass Walnut cajon which won the Best Cajon for Worship.
Why did the Meinl Percussion Ebony Bass Cajon make it into the finalist list?
Personally, I love the lovely tones that you can create on the Ebony cajon.
Ebony is a dense hardwood and it produces a strong and warm bass that is just a tad brighter than Mahogany.
And, it is a very beautiful type of wood too.
Meinl has successfully highlighted the key characteristics in the Ebony’s tones by giving this cajon a wider body as well. This helps to attenuate those lovely, warm bass sounds.
On the features front, I love the foot activated snare throw off that came with this cajon.
This gives us the ability to activate or deactivate the snare wires quickly and easily just by using our feet.
Of course, if you are handy enough, you could purchase and install the snare pedal on any cajon that you own.
It was also noted that the Ebony Bass cajon is rather durable.
We believe that it will be a great option as a sturdy and trusty instrument, especially if you anticipate high usage frequency.
Why was the Meinl Percussion Ebony Bass Cajon eliminated?
Unfortunately, Ebony happens to be one of the most expensive wood out there.
It costs about 3/4x more than the Meinl Jumbo Bass Cajon.
Although I would agree that the sound quality you get is definitely worth the price of the cajon, but if you or your church is tight on budget, this might not be the best option for you.
Electronic Cajon for Worship (2nd Runner Up)
Roland EL Cajon Electronic Layered Cajon (EC-10)
A hybrid between an acoustic and an electronic cajon, you get the best of both worlds with the Roland EL Cajon.
What are the key features of the Roland Electronic Layered Cajon?
The Roland EL Electronic Layered cajon doubles up as both an acoustic and an electronic cajon.
You can mic it up the usual way, the Roland EL cajon has a sound port on its front plate and can be mic up just like any regular acoustic cajon. Or, if you want to use it as an electronic trigger for over 30 different present sounds, there is a 1/4″ sound output available too.
As an acoustic cajon, the Roland EL cajon features a Sapele Plywood hardwood front plate with a resonating body made of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). You’ll find richer, more complex overtones from this cajon.
As an electronic cajon, you can trigger a range of sounds from 30 different preset sound kits via both the body and the edge of this cajon. These sounds are layered onto the regular cajon sounds that you get, allow you to create textured tones.
And oh, if you are bringing the cajon with you to a cell group worship session, don’t worry about not having a power plug because the Roland EL cajon can run on 6 x AA alkaline batteries.
It’s dimensions are: 11 5/8″ (width), 19 1/2″ (height), 11 3/4″ (depth).
Why did the Roland EL Cajon make it into the finalist list?
You’d be blown away by the range of tones that you can trigger with the Roland EL Cajon.
Here’s a quick summary of the tones that you could produce:
Video from Kosmic
This means that you can easily lead worship with a lean band.
We think these two features alone make the Roland EL Cajon a great option as a cajon for worship.
However, there were two important deciding factors that pulled the Roland EL Cajon off the champion’s podium in this category. We discuss that next.
Why was the Roland EL Cajon eliminated?
With its incredible range of tones and ability to function both as an acoustic and an electronic cajon, you’d probably think that it would be crowned as the ‘best cajon for worship’.
However, we took various factors into our selection process.
One of them was cost.
Despite being the cajon with the most features and being versatile, the Roland EL Cajon also happen to be the most expensive cajon on this list at about $399+ depending on where you decide to purchase it from. You can also check Amazon for its latest pricing, or look out for any discounts or promotions.
The second reason was the inability to transmit the cajon sound via the output jack.
The Roland EL Cajon is a hybrid between an acoustic and an electronic cajon with each part functioning separately. This means you cannot amplify the cajon sounds via the output sound jack, you’ll still need at least 1 microphone to capture the sounds of the acoustic cajon.
What you get from the output sound jack are the electronic sounds that you can trigger from the Roland EL cajon.
Overall, this is a fun cajon to play and it allows you to create a vast range of sounds that could add another dimension to your worship sessions.
However, if you are tight on budget, it is not suitable for you.
4th Best Cajon for Worship
Meinl Percussion Headliner Series Siam Oak String Cajon (HCAJ1NT)
Classic, no-frills Siam Oak cajon
What are the key features of the Meinl Percussion Headliner Siam Oak String Cajon?
The Meinl Headliner Series Hardwood string cajon is a no frills cajon featuring Siam Oak on both its front plate and resonating body.
This is how it sounds:
Video from Meinl
The Headliner Siam Oak String Cajon allows easy tuning and adjustment of the snare effect (aka sizzle).
You can also adjust the degree of ‘snap’ or ‘crack’ by adjusting the top corners of the cajon.
It’s dimension are: 11 3/4″ (width) X 18″ (height) X 12 1/2″ (depth).
Why did the Meinl Percussion Headliner Siam Oak String Cajon make it into the finalist list?
This Siam Oak cajon is the most versatile cajon on this list with a friendly price. It also happens to be very popular on Amazon with over 1,000+ reviews. You can read them here.
It is a mid range cajon that is slightly warmer and less bright compared to the birch wood cajon.
Because of its tone, you will find that this cajon works for most worship songs, with or without the entire band.
And that’s why it almost made the cut.
Why was the Meinl Percussion Headliner Siam Oak String Cajon eliminated?
Remember that classmate at the back of the classroom whom you’d notice ever now and then during class, but cannot seem to remember his face?
This is what the Meinl Hardwood String Cajon feels like.
It does what it is supposed to do as a cajon, but doesn’t really have any feature that stands out.
And unfortunately, it did not perform as well on the bass tones as compared to the cajons that came in above it.
At it’s price point, you’re getting what you pay for and a little more because of its high built quality.
Overall, if you are looking for an affordable, functional cajon that could be used for worship, this is it.
As with most Meinl cajons, it comes with a 2 years warranty.
Most Affordable Cajon for Worship (5th Best Cajon for Worship)
Meinl Percussion Baltic Birch Wood Compact Snare Cajon (JC50LBNT)
Compact snare cajon that is easy to transport and provides a well balanced range of tones.
What are the key features of the Meinl Percussion Baltic Birch Wood Compact Snare Cajon?
The Baltic Birch Wood Jam cajon is a compact cajon at just 10 1/2″ wide, 15″ tall and 10 1/4″ deep. Taller, bigger players might find it uncomfortable to play with, especially during long worship sessions.
It features a Baltic Birch front plate and an Almond Birch resonating body.
Birch wood is weaker on the bass notes but gives a brighter tone that can cut through the rest of the music.
This is how it sounds:
Video by Meinl
The top corners are adjustable which means you can control the degree of crack/snap that you get during play.
Why did the Meinl Percussion Baltic Birch Wood Compact Snare Cajon make it into the finalist list?
This is a cajon that is great for accompanying both a full band with a drum kit, or accompanying the guitar alone.
It still made it on this list because you’ve got to admit, it has a very attractive price. (Check the latest price on Amazon)
As a side note, this cajon is also a great option for beginners who are looking for an affordable cajon to start with.
On top of that, it’s size was built for portability, giving you the option of bringing it with you for smaller, external worship sessions.
Why was the Meinl Percussion Baltic Birch Wood Compact Snare Cajon eliminated?
In terms of its sound quality, it definitely is NOT the best option to lead a capella songs nor as the main instrument in a piece.
Hence it lost to the rest.
Overall, I would say that this Birch wood cajon is great for songs that need an accompanying beat. But, it would not stand out when used alone.
7 Considerations you must make before buying your cajon for worship
You may already have a couple of considerations in mind when choosing a cajon.
However, we’d like to highlight what we think are the key considerations that you cannot afford to ignore when you are buying a cajon specifically for your worship sessions.
Here they are:
1) Ease of tuning
A cajon for worship should require very little (to no) maintenance. This includes its ability to stay in tune.
Of course, if you have the right musicians in your church this would not be too much of an issue.
But frankly speaking, you wouldn’t want a cajon that required frequent daily tuning or even weekly tuning.
Instead, you’ll want a reliable cajon that just sounds right every time you need to use it.
Disclaimer: Any cajon generally requires tuning, but it should only need to be done on a bi-monthly or monthly basis depending on your frequency of use.
If you find yourself having to tune the cajon too frequently, it could mean one of two things;
- The tuning knobs on your cajon is loose or the tuning system is out of whack.
- Someone has been changing the tune setting.
2) Snare wires
Most modern cajons come with snare wires that provide a ‘sizzle’ effect. You may or may not want that depending on the song you are playing.
We look for cajons that allow you to disengage the snare quickly.
Although not common, there are cajons that come with the foot activated snare throw off function which allows you to ‘turn off’ snare sound effect using a foot controlled pedal.
You’ll also want to note if it is easy for you change or replace the snare wires on the cajon you have in mind.
Most would come with a user guide to assembling and tuning the snare wires.
3) Easy to set up
Ease of setting up is another key feature we look at.
On top of having to assemble the snare wires, there should be little to no set up required for a basic cajon.
Build-it-yourself cajon sets are not considered in the ‘best cajon for worship’ category for this reason as well.
Of course, if you are more sophisticated, you might want to consider other cajon accessories. We’ll cover most of that a section below.
4) Sound Quality
A cajon is a really simple system – it’s a wooden box that resonates.
Because of this simplicity, you’ll notice that the wood material for your chosen cajon will be a major factor of the resultant sound you get.
Hence, we are particular about the type of wood that the cajon is made from.
On top of the tones, you’ll also want to take note that your worship cajon:
- can be played alongside the acoustic or electronic drum kit – in the case where you’ll be playing with a full band.
- has a strong bass that can hold the beat while allowing the singer to stand out as they lead. Having a strong bass also works well when you need a lead in for a cappella songs
This should be an obvious feature.
You’ll want a long lasting cajon so that you’ll not need to shop for one too frequently.
It should also be durable enough to handle constant moving and high usage frequency.
We’ve noticed that most hardwood cajons are durable enough for most players.
6) Easy to mic up
When choosing a cajon for worship, you’ll need one that can be easily mic-ed up, so that you can amplify the sound of the cajon via your sound system.
Here’s an example of a rather complex mic-ing setup for a church cajon:
Video from AnointedPeruvian
This was one of the many reasons why we chose the Jumbo Bass Walnut Cajon as our best cajon for worship.
It is easy to mic up with most of its sound already being projected to the front via its sound port designs. All you need to do is to face your mic towards the sound ports.
This also allows you to cut down on the number of microphones you’d need to capture the sound of the cajon.
7) Size and weight
These are the most basic dimension that are usually taken for granted or ignored by cajon buyers.
The size of the cajon affects the bass sounds as well as comfort for the player.
A bigger cajon tends to project stronger bass tones and tend to be a little more comfortable to play over long periods, especially for larger sized cajon players.
The weight of the cajon affects how portable it will be, and also works as a gauge to how much weight it can support.
A cajon player will usually have to seat on their instrument.
You’ll want to make sure that the cajon can take the weight of its player(s).
Additional accessories that cajon player might need
A cajon is merely a box made of wood that resonates nice tones.
To widen the range of sounds you can produce easily on the cajon, you can explore the following accessories for cajon players;
Straw sticks or drum broom brush sticks
If you’d need to increase the range of beats on the cajon, the cajon brush is definitely an essential accessory.
On top of getting clear beats, you can create brush sounds on the cajon.
Also, it helps to reduce the drummer’s fatigue.
Long periods of drumming on the cajon can lead to aches in the back, neck and arms, especially for taller folks.
Use the back of the Vator VCS cajon brush as a drumstick to help reduce the occurrence of those aches.
If you are planning to use a cajon to create a steady beat while you strum on the guitar, consider getting a cajon pedal.
These work very much like your bass drum pedals.
They usually come as a set that includes a pedal, a mount and a beater.
All you need to do is to set it up as per the user manual and position it against the front plate of your cajon.
The down side is that you cannot trigger sounds from the corners or the edge of the cajons.
Cajon players often under use their feet. Hence, foot accessories for cajon players are abundant.
Some are really useful, others are kinda silly.
We think the foot tambourine belongs to the former.
With this, you can now layer jingles onto your cajon beats just by moving your feet along while you are drumming on the cajon.
Warning: Mastering the coordination to play the foot tambourine along with the cajon will take some time and practice.
We’ve shared our findings for the best cajon for worship, as well as 4 other cajons that almost made the list.
If you are still not sure if any of the cajons are right for you, you might want to read our 7 considerations for a cajon for worship again.
Or, check out our selection for the best cajon for acoustic rock.
Of course, if you have any further questions or if you have personally used any of the cajons mentioned, do share your thoughts with us via the comments below!